Nellie’s Post Office

Photo Somerset Ohio Post Office Summer 1938

Nellie operated out of at least two different post office locations during her career as postmistress.  The first location was situated on East Main St., near where the present building of the Reading Twp., Somerset Fire Department is currently located.   The other location was  located in the corner of the library and Underwood Hardware.  This latter location is the one in which Jim Young recalls visiting as a younger man.  Mail used to arrive each day by train, was processed and issued to residents via the post office prior to rural delivery.  In 1900, per the census, the only other postal employee in Somerset was Amos Helser.  1926

When Nellie married, per newspaper articles, everyone in town was interested in the event because she handed them their mail each day.  It is worth pointing out that for some, the only means of contact with the world outside of Perry County, was by postal mail.  The post office of yesterday, unlike modern times, was more than just a place to obtain one’s mail, it was the commons of the community.  Locals utilized the local post office as a place to catch up on local events, swap recipes, gossip, and it was even a place where young couples engaged in “sparking.”   In fact, the concept of sparking at the post office was so main stream that there was actually a kissing game called…you guessed office.  Per Wikipedia, (yes,  I actually took time out of my life to look) the game was part of the vernacular since circa 1925.    Even the Russians had a version referred to as “ryska posten.”

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